Filipino Fruit Salad

The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, so Christmas is the biggest holiday for Filipinos. In anticipation, Filipinos attend nine days of devotional Masses leading up to Christmas Eve, called Simbang Gabi.

Filipinos celebrate Christmas Eve with a huge holiday spread, called Noche Buena, which is eaten at midnight(ish) after returning home from the final Simbang Gabi Mass.

One of my favorite things about Noche Buena is fruit salad. It’s so strongly associated with the Christmas holiday that I rarely make it at any other time of the year. (The one time I did, my friend’s first response was, “Why? Is it Christmas?”)

This was also one of my earliest forays into holiday cooking. It’s so fast (15 minutes cooking time!) and simple that even a kid can make it.

Ingredients (serves 4-8): Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad

1 can fruit cocktail
1 7.6-ounce can media crema/table cream (in the international aisle; I recommend the Nestle brand)
1 14-ounce can condensed milk

Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad

1 16-ounce (i.e., 1 pound) package shredded young coconut (in the freezer aisle of Asian markets.)

Note: when you open the crema, it will look lumpy, thick and yellowish. If it is not past the expiry date, don’t worry. THIS IS NORMAL.
Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad


*Defrost shredded young coconut on the countertop (do NOT microwave!) and drain off excess water.
*Drain water from fruit cocktail.
*In a huge mixing bowl, mix coconut, fruit cocktail and media crema/table cream.
Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad

Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad

Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad
*To the mixture add slightly less than half a can of condensed milk. Then sweeten to taste with more condensed milk. (I like my fruit salad sweet, so I generally add a little more than half a can.)

Cooking With Stellaaa: Filipino Fruit Salad

*Serve chilled.

Feeling creative?

*Try adding other canned fruit. Canned apricots, peaches and pineapples work well. Fresh red apples and raisins work well, too. Do NOT add kiwi fruit; they will make your salad bitter. (I learned this the hard way.)
*Try adding tiny cubes of cheddar cheese. This is my dad’s innovation—it adds a sweet, salty creamy texture to your fruit salad. (If you are not sure about this, test it on one serving.)

This post originally appeared on Cityspoonful.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Blissful, Peaceful, Healthy and Happy 2013!

5 Responses to “Filipino Fruit Salad”
  1. This looks delicious!Didn’t know you guys were so Catholic. Merry Christmas!

  2. kbautist says:

    First time here…thanks for reminding me about the fruit salad, AND for including the recipe. Have you ever tried it with corn? I’ve had it like that once and loved it but no one else in my family does so I always get voted out. Thanks for sharing. 😉

    • Thanks for stopping by! I always include the recipe and procedure (but the measurements are not exact, unless im joining a cooking contest) You can just have your corn on the side? I’ve seen corn in salad before but i’ve never tried. If you make something from my recipes, please send me a pic, so i can post it on FANMEAL!


  3. A.M. says:

    This isn’t complete without the nata de coco and sugar palm kaong though! Yummm.

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